Flashing is one of the most important parts of a residential roofing system, which means it requires frequent inspections and timely repairs. In this blog, 4U Roofing discusses how to check and maintain roof flashing.
Types of Flashing
There are several types of flashing, all of which you should know and keep an eye out for:
Valley Flashing — This is the most common type of roof flashing. These are strips of metal with an inverted “T” profile, installed along roof valleys and where two roofing planes meet. The vertical fin acts as a barrier, which stops rainwater from crossing from one plane and under another. Displaced or missing valley flashing can lead to water infiltration the next time it rains.
Continuous and Step Flashing — This is installed where a roofing plane meets a dormer or wall. Continuous flashing is installed along the side that’s parallel to the roof edge, while step flashing is installed on the sloped side. The “steps” follow the overlaps on the asphalt shingles.
Drip Edges — This is a type of flashing with an inverted “L” profile, and is installed along the roof edges. Drip edges prevent rainwater from seeping back into the roof deck.
Rubber Boots — Also known as vent pipe flashing, rubber boots are cone-shaped pieces of rubber installed at the base of vent pipes. The narrow end of the cone is trimmed to match the pipe diameter.
Inspecting Your Roof
All types of roofing work, including roof replacement and repairs, should be conducted by roofing professionals. However, certain tasks such as roof inspections can be conducted safely. Keep in mind that you are not expected to perform repairs yourself, but rather take note of problems and call for repairs when needed.
On a clear day, take out a pair of binoculars and begin your roof inspection. Pay close attention to the areas where flashing can be found, as described above. Flashing that’s dislodged, damaged, or missing will require repair. Rubber boots should be in one piece, therefore cracks or worn-out sealant has to be fixed. If you happen to own a remote-controlled drone with a high-definition camera, you can record your inspections and review them with your roofing contractor later.